Kenalog Made my Scar Concave: Can This Be Fixed?

My surgeon injected one of my cholecystectomy scars with Kenalog in order to flatten it out. But it worked too well and now it looks like I have a chunk missing out of my abdomen. It looks horrible. Is there a permanent fix for this? Fat transfer?

Doctor Answers 4

Kenalog injections can cause tissue atrophy

Although kenalog injections can be helpful for hypertrophic or keloid scars, they also can have adverse effects. One of these is tissue atrophy. Tissue atrophy is when there is a loss of tissue such as thinning of the skin and loss of subcutaneous fat resulting in a concavity. Options do include scar revision such as cutting out the concavity and restitching the area or fat grafting. Each has pros and cons. If you are not prone to hypertrophic scars your best option ma be scar revision. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss this.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Scar revision surgery has many options to improve bad scars

Scar revision with excision may help this scar.  Speak to your plastic surgeon about scar revision alternatives such as excision and layered closure. 

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Kenalog Injections and Fat Atrophy

I am sure your physician was trying to improve the scar from your cholecystectomy.  At times, this corticosteroid has the unfortunate side effect of thinning skin and fat which can cause a depression.

Both fat grafting or scar revision are viable alternatives, but other factors of health, smoking, age, etc. come into play.  Therefore, your answer should come from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who does an in person exam and consultation.



Scar treatment and Kenalog use

Steroid injections such as Kenalog can be used to help reduce redness and/or flatten thick scars.  However, these same injections can result in a scar widening, as well as causing the subcutaneous fat to atrophy (shrink).  In this case, a scar revision can be performed to narrow the scar and advance adjacent fat into the area to fill the depression Fat injections could also be utilized to fill the depression.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.